Episode 76: Between the Flim and Flam

Daniel Amos in 1987

Until the past decade, bands really couldn’t hope for any mainstream acceptance without concealing religious affiliation.  Today, we take it for granted that anyone with a guitar and internet connection can play on a somewhat even field across continents.  So it’s just not fair to claim that if a christian band in the 80s or early 90s was worth its salt, it wouldn’t have even bothered with the christian market.  Much life and creativity teemed far below the surface of mainstream christian music.

I devote this week’s show to a guy whose work will probably be shrouded in obscurity because he started writing skewed pop songs informed by his Christian beliefs and love of literature much too early for kids growing up in the internet age.  Yes, before Sufjan Stevens or Dave Bazan or…heck, even Sixpence None the Richer or The Innocence Mission, there was Terry Taylor and his band, Daniel Amos.

There is a direct line of influence from this week’s subject, Terry Taylor, to an artist like Stevens, who combines belief with cool music.  Terry Taylor’s band, Daniel Amos, started a label called Alarma! Records in the mid-80s.  Brandon Ebel worked there in the early 90s before deciding to start a record label of his own label out of his bedroom in 1993.  A couple years later, he signed the band, Danielson.  A few years after that, Stevens joined Danielson on the road.  Shortly after, Stevens started his own label, and blew folks’ minds and made all the year-end lists for Paste, Relevant and Rolling Stone.

But what about Terry Taylor, the guy who thought it’d be cool to mix his love for 60s pop and surf with post-punk and new wave?  He’s released so many good-to-great albums under several band names that it’s truly hard to keep up.  Hopefully I can assist in getting you acquainted with his work.  Enjoy.

  1. “Traps, Ensnares” – Daniel Amos (Motorcycle | Brainstorm Artists | 1993)
  2. “Happily Married Man” – Daniel Amos (Preachers from Outer Space | Squint | 1994)
  3. “Shedding the Mortal Coil” – Daniel Amos (Alarma! | NewPax | 1981)
  4. “Dancing on Light” – Terry Scott Taylor (Knowledge and Innocence | Shadow | 1986)
  5. “Multipurpose Man” – Swirling Eddies (Zoom Daddy | Alarma! | 1994)
  6. “Be My Hiding Place” – Lost Dogs (Nazarene Crying Towel | BEC | 2002)
  7. “So Far So Good” – Daniel Amos (Mr. Buechner’s Dream | Stunt | 2001)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #76 (4/15/11)

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